Monday’s Electoral College vote made me proud


By Precious McKesson

I was filled with emotion and pride Monday.

That’s when I drove from Omaha to Lincoln with my mom, daughter, niece and two aunts and became the first woman and the first African American to cast an Electoral College ballot for a Democrat in Nebraska — sending President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to the White House.

The significance of the moment was overwhelming. It was magical casting that ballot for a presidential ticket that includes the first woman of color elected to the office of vice president.

Now, little girls who look like me will have a representation that looks like us. When I say looks like us we now have the first woman, and woman of color as the Vice President of the United States. Kamala Harris represents all women.

Nebraska and Maine are the only states to award electoral votes based on the winner of each congressional district. Nebraska’s Omaha-centric Second Congressional District delivered that  for Biden-Harris. The only other time a Democrat won the CD2 electoral vote was in 2008, when then-Sen. Barack Obama, with Biden as his running mate, won the district’s “Blue Dot”  on their way to the White House.

Our communities of color were key to the Biden-Harris electoral vote victory, most notably in building the solid 23,092-vote margin — the core of which came from the largely Black North Omaha and largely Latino South Omaha. 

After four years of hateful rhetoric and power grabs by Trump and his GOP enablers, Democrats across the country came together this year to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. 

In Nebraska, we shattered all records. According to Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report, Nebraska’s CD2 “swung against Trump more than any swing state.”  The swing was 8.8 points, as the district flipped from red to blue.

And those results demonstrate that the message got to the right people in terms of conducting a winning campaign. We showed people that their voice mattered.

My only regret was that my grandmother, who passed away in June 2008, was not here to witness this. My grandmother instilled the values of hard work in me. She never gave up even though times got tough. 

Taylor, my 16-year-old daughter, is pursuing college scholarship opportunities now. I’m hoping she will choose Howard University in Washington, D.C. — Harris’ alma mater.

We have made strides — this includes our national Democratic Party and our Nebraska Democratic Party. From our Candidates of Color Fund and LaMere Grassroots Fellows, we are making conscious choices to fund programs that reach urban and rural communities of color.

But as the late Frank LaMere, a member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska and the NDP’s first associate chair, often said: “There is more work to do.” We must continue the work to allow everyone to have a seat at the table, and a voice. We as Nebraskans can get it done, and I look forward to seeing all the hard work Nebraska has to offer.

Help us get the work done. Become a monthly donor. This is the best way to help elect Democrats up and down the ticket.

–Precious Mckesson is a presidential elector and chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party’s Black Caucus

–Photos by Odochi Akwani

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